DALLAS — Over 1,800 companies have reserved more than 375,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Dallas Convention Center for the 2013 Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo on Jan. 28-30, making it the largest ever held in the Southwest. Leading manufacturers and suppliers from around the world will converge to showcase hundreds of innovative new products to nearly 45,000 industry professionals.

Those manufacturers will be in a festive mood, according to a recent AHR Expo survey, which showed that 70 percent of respondents expect the economy to be better in 2013 than in 2012. In fact, 15 percent of these manufacturers expect a “much better year,” while 28 percent of respondents expect the economy to remain the same. Just 3 percent expect it to be worse than 2012.

“It is good to see that manufacturers continue to be optimistic about the HVACR sector of the economy,” said Clay Stevens, president, International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “These survey results seem to suggest a strong show in Dallas.”

To Market We Go

One of the main reasons why contractors enjoy attending the AHR Expo is to check out the new products that manufacturers are bringing to market. They won’t be disappointed at this year’s event, as more than 75 percent of exhibitors note that they will be introducing new products or services to the marketplace at the AHR Expo. One of those exhibitors is Davisware (Booth #3219), which will unveil its Global Field Solution software.

“By combining this product with our back end business and service management systems, contractors will be able to complete their entire business environment with a single-source solution,” said Jennifer Davis, co-founder and president, Davisware. “This means that a contractor will be able to create service calls, route optimize the schedule, and dispatch calls to a Garmin, allowing the technician to follow turn-by-turn directions to the call. Once in the field, the technician will be able to collect field data, take job site photos, and gather data such as amperage and voltage. The integrated GPS system will validate his time capture, as well as customer information, including signatures and credit card authorization.”

Davisware has exhibited at the AHR Expo since 1999, as the event gives the company an opportunity to make many contacts with customers and prospects in a short period of time, noted Davis. “In addition to the sheer volume, attendees are typically of the highest quality, as the show is very heavily attended by business owners and decision makers. The expo also allows us to demonstrate technology advancements that were made during the last year to our existing customer base.”

Veto Pro Pac (Booth #5127), which has exhibited at the AHR Expo for three years, will also introduce a new product at the show. The new tool bag, Tech Pac, is a backpack that offers a hands-free way to carry a tool bag, freeing hands for support and security when climbing a ladder, carrying extra equipment, or opening doors, said James Brooks, executive vice president — business development, Veto Pro Pac.

Brooks noted that the AHR Expo offers a great platform to communicate with the industry and demonstrate a commitment to the HVACR market. “The event has helped us build brand awareness in the industry and gives us a platform to demonstrate why our products are unique in our category. Contractors are able to see and touch our products, which is important in terms of understanding how our products, which we consider the tools that all of their other tools depend upon, can save them time and money and improve their professional image.”

EnTouch Controls will debut its suite of partner tools for contractors, as well as its newest mobile phone application at the AHR Expo. Partner tools include remote maintenance and diagnostic tools with automatic alerts; global control of HVAC settings, schedules, and one-time events; and detailed graphics of energy usage, HVAC runtime, and power quality. The mobile app for partners is compatible with all smartphones and includes maintenance alerting, remote troubleshooting features, and on-site diagnostic tools that speed response and repair times.

“Today’s contractors need the latest technology to help them work quickly and efficiently on and off the job site, and we’ve developed these products keeping that need in mind,” said Greg Fasullo, CEO, EnTouch Controls. “We also want to help expand contractors’ sales by offering options traditionally limited to specialized controls firms. Our partners have a range of options available to them from training and support, to remote diagnostic tools and alerting, to fully customizable branding. We invite any interested contractors to visit us at Booth #941, so we can demonstrate how our tools and apps can help them grow their business.”

Educational Opportunities

In addition to scouting out new products, attendees to the AHR Expo will want to check out a number of free educational sessions sponsored by industry associations, including:

• Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) will present Residential Ventilation System Balancing and Airflow Measurement Methods, which will include a hands-on demonstration of various airflow measurement methods that can be used to balance and commission ventilation systems. It will also show the impact that duct design decisions and installation techniques can have on airflows in conventional ventilation systems as well as heat/energy recovery ventilation systems.

• The Associated Air Balance Council (AABC) will present Issues in Duct Leakage Testing, which will examine both the AABC and ASHRAE requirements for allowable duct leakage, and discuss testing issues, duct sealing, and expected energy savings.

• Women in HVACR will present Making Your Company Whole with Home Performance, which will introduce contractors to the basics of home performance from an HVAC perspective, so that they can see the distinct advantages the HVAC industry has in this emerging market.

• Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association (SPIDA) will present Green Ductwork Done Right, which will review the latest ASHRAE Standard 90.1 duct sealing requirements and how these changes will influence both the operating and installed cost of ducted systems.

• The Building Automation and Control Showcase will also return this year, featuring more than 160 companies from 10 countries displaying state-of-the-art building integration and automation products and solutions. The Software Center will also be back, featuring over 50 companies from four countries showcasing everything from design programs to inventory control to business-management software.

In addition to the hundreds of new products being showcased by exhibitors, three New Product and Technology theaters will feature more than 40 presentations. These special sessions presented by exhibitors will highlight the latest innovations and solutions from all segments of the HVAC industry. Presentations will take place on topics ranging from heating and cooling technology, thermal energy management, and hydrocarbon applications to IAQ and more.

As Stevens noted, “These special show features are always very popular with attendees at the AHR Expo because they present the latest in cutting-edge technology.”

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification testing will also be available at this year’s AHR Expo. The test session will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, and to help prepare technicians for the test, Standard Supply will offer an HVACR review session from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. the day of the test. Registration forms are available on the AHR Expo website, as well as on NATE’s website (www.natex.org).

For all information regarding the AHR Expo, including exhibitor listings and educational opportunities, visit www.ahrexpo.com.

Publication date: 1/14/2013